Australian Market Wrap. Headlines, Stocks, Bonds, Economic & Asian Market News. END of DAY REPORT with Henry Jennings.

 

boomtown

ASX 200 plunges another 537 points to 5002 as fear came back to haunt us. Strange how it closed in the match out at 5000. Computers are in charge.  The Fed’s emergency rate cut seems to have had the opposite effect as the first one did too. Instead of stability, it has spooked markets with US futures limit down. The ASX 200 fell from the open and although has tried a number of times to rally, it has been remarkably stable for most of the day down 300 points give or take. In the big scheme of volatility, we have seen that is stable. It did get smashed on the close, not a positive sign. Banks were once again sold off heavily with the Big Bank Basket closing  at $108.27 close to Fridays lows. CBA down 10% plus WBC down 11.8%. Financials and insurers were hit too with MQG down 12% and MFG down 5%. The ASX fell 8.7% which should be enjoying some good trading volumes. Moves form ASIC to limit short selling and the high frequency traders has taken out some of the extreme volatility but not the weakness. Miners too were under pressure with BHP down 5.7% and even FMG down 2.8%. Energy stocks continue to lose power as WPL fell 14.35% and STO dropped 17.7%. Travel stocks were decimated today with ALG down 52.1% and SYD down 17.7% as the tourist isolation has effectively banned tourism. Industrials were hard hit with CV19 updates from nay, CWN fell 11.2% as they are turning every second poker machine off, JIN down 16.2% and ALL down 20.3% also in the firing line. The only bright spots were some rises in gold miners with WGX up 3.8% and PRU up 1.4% although FPH continue to rally with a gain of 4.2%. QAN defied the odds for a while but gave up at the close to be down 5% after the weekend closures. TLS bought up as a place to hide up 1.8%, Foxtel subscriptions should rise. In corporate news, we had CV19 updates from CTD down 15.3% and COH sold down 19.2% and TRS unchanged after a update on panic buyers helping sales. WOW and COL also benefitting from strong sales of toilet roils before slipping at the close to be down 1.97% and 1.1% respectively. In economic news, the Fed cut rates not that that helped) and the Morrison government is looking at another stimulus package. They have not even passed the first one through Parliament and already a second. Things are moving fast with the 10-year yield at 0.72% and the AUD at 17-year lows of 61.70c. In Asia, China was down 1.4% and Japan up 0.19 %.

  • ASX 200 down another 537 points to 5002. Such a coincidence. Worst loss since 1987.
  • High 5469 Low 5002. Market on close orders sold down again.
  • Dow futures limit down.
  • Banks smashed again. Big Bank Basket $108.27
  • Defensives seeing some buyers. COL and WOW do better. TLS too.
  • China data does not cheer.
  • 10-year bond yields fall to 0.79%.
  • Oil extends losses down 1.7%
  • AUD rises to falls to 61.71c.
  • Aussie gold slips to $2496.
  • Bitcoin steady at US$5277.
  • Asian markets mixed with Japan up 0.2% and China down 1.4%.
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STOCKS                                               

  • WGX +3.82% PRU +1.41% some golds holing up.
  • TLS +1.81% defensive nature.
  • WOW -1.97% hoarding brings benefits.
  • DMP +0.16% update on CV19 impact.
  • AIA -23.77% tourist shutdown.
  • ALX -18.36% Europe closes for business.
  • CKF -23.32% KFCs closed.
  • SKO -25.49% suspends guidance.
  • COH -19.25% suspends guidance.
  • WEB -22.02% travel not the place to be.
  • CLH -trading halt- response to ASX query.
  • CGF -17.32% update on guidance and capital position.
  • AIA -23.77% suspends earnings forecast.
  • ALL -20.32% poker machine closures. Vegas closes.
  • ALG -52.05% leisure shutdowns in US and Dreamworld.
  • QAN -5.03% announcing new cuts by weeks end.
  • EHL -21.00% debt position.
  • NEC -12.69% CEO not leaving by end of 2020.
  • Speculative stock of the day: Cardinal Resources (CDV) +40.00% after receiving a non-binding indicative proposal from Nord Gold for a 45.775c bid in cash. Nord Gold owns 19.9% having snapped up 16.4% from Goldfields.
  • Biggest Rises: MGX, FPH, WGX, EBO, TLS, PRU and GOLD.
  • Biggest Falls: AIA, SGR, CKF, TYR, WEB, GEM and ALL.

TODAY

  • Challenger (CGF) -17.32% returns to ‘original’ FY normalized NPBT guidance of $500-550m, previously expected NPBT to be in the top end of that $500-550m range. Confirms it remains well capitalised.
  • Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DMP) +0.16% provides Covid-19 update; implements procedures to provide zero contact ordering and delivery.
  • oOh!media (OML) -20.00% withdraws FY20 guidance. YTD revenue has been in line with pcp. While the performance in Q1 is consistent FY20 earnings guidance, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and market uncertainty has made forecasting full-year revenue in the current environment difficult.
  • Healius (HLS) –10.70% Partners Group re-confirms offer for HLS despite the market sell-off according to AFR. HLS is reportedly still searching for an increased bid.
  • Cochlear (COH) -19.25% has withdrawn its earnings guidance citing a rising number of surgery deferrals in key markets.
  • Crown Resorts (CWN) -11.22% outlines coronavirus measures; deactivation of every second gaming machine and electronic table game. Distancing at seated table games between players, including no standing players just some of the precautions being taken.
  • The Reject Shop (TRS) – unchanged –  has experienced a material increase in sales driven by concerns around coronavirus. Sales between February 24 – March 15 are up 15.1%, driven mostly by cleaning products, groceries, toiletries & pet care.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • AUD heading to a 17-year low.
  • RBNZ has cut rates by 0.75% in an emergency decision. NZ has warned that this could be worse than the GFC. Ardern will be unveiling a new stimulus package tomorrow.
  • Goldman Sachs said it now expects the RBA to cut rates by 25bps on Thursday, or earlier, and announce “QE-style yield curve control” measures.

BOND MARKET

ASIAN NEWS

  • Chinese industrial output plunged 13.5% in January and February from a year earlier, versus a median estimate for a 3% contraction. Retail sales fell 20.5% in the period, compared to a projected 4% fall. Fixed-asset investment dropped 24.5%, versus a forecast 2% decline.
  • The Chinese unemployment rate jumped to 6.2%, the highest on record.

  • New-home prices in 70 major cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, rose just 0.02% in February from January, National Bureau of Statistics data released Monday showed. That’s the smallest increase since April 2015, when the property market was emerging from a yearlong slump. New-home prices fell 0.24% from January in 100 cities, a “temporary” decline, according to China Index Holdings. Home sales had the steepest plunge since at least 2013, down 35% by value in January and February from a year earlier, separate data showed. 19 cities that were part of the shutdown showed no sales at all so these were considered unchanged.
  • Hong Kong visitors down a huge 96%.

EUROPEAN AND US NEWS

  • Fed cuts rates by 1%. Trump pleased. Futures markets head limit down.

  • As shares fall, property prices rise. At least in UK, where asking prices have jumped to a record in March. Values increased by an average of 1.6% whilst in London they have gained a similar amount to an average of GBP638.826.
  • Los Angeles has ramped up efforts to protect the city from the spread of coronavirus by closing bars, nightclubs and restaurants until March 31.
  • Christine Lagarde has apologised for stuffing up the ECB response to the crisis.
  • Germany to seal its borders. EU to curb export of CV19 protective gear. Hand sanitizer in short supply.

And finally…

A man walks into a zoo…there was only one animal…a dog…it was a Shitzu…still a goody…

Clarence

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Financial Markets and Political Commentary